PRINCETON, NJ – Second-ranked Johns Hopkins used a 4-1 run to open the fourth quarter to turn a 6-4 lead into a 10-5 advantage and then held off a late-game rally by 12th-ranked Princeton to knock off the Tigers, 10-8, at Sherrerd Field at Class of 1952 Stadium Friday evening. The win is JHU’s fourth straight to open the season, 11th straight in the regular season and third straight against the Tigers at Princeton.
The Blue Jays (4-0) led 6-4 entering the final period, but needed less than nine minutes to turn the two-goal lead into a five-goal advantage and the run was sparked by reserve attackman John Kaestner, who was making his first career start.
Kaestner jump-started the spree with a nifty goal from an impossible angle as he wrapped a shot around the post and Princeton goalie Tyler Fiorito just over two minutes into the final period for his first career goal to make it 7-4.
Princeton’s Alex Capretta drew the Tigers to within 7-5 at the 10:04 mark as he stepped down and beat JHU’s Pierce Bassett to the far post off a pass from just above the goal line from Mike Grossman, but the Tigers’ fate was sealed over the next four minutes as the Blue Jays scored on three straight possessions to go up 10-5.
Sophomore Brandon Benn got free in the high slot and quickly turned and fired one home off Fiorito’s thigh 38 seconds after Capretta’s goal and Kaestner netted his second of the night 90 seconds later when he came from the side of the goal, took a nice dump pass from John Ranagan and scored from in tight.
Junior Lee Coppersmith added his sixth goal of the season on Hopkins’ next possession as junior Zach Palmer’s skip pass from the goal line to Fiorito’s left found Coppersmith alone and he blew one into the top corner.
Princeton (2-1), as expected, rallied. The Tigers got one back just 38 seconds after Coppersmith’s goal as Jeff Froccaro got free in the slot and went low to slip one past Bassett from seven yards out to make it 10-6.
Nearly four minutes, and one big save by Bassett, passed before Princeton would score again as Grossman got free after a long loose ball scramble and scored his only goal of the game with 2:16 remaining. Tom Schreiber worked free of Hopkins’ Tucker Durkin on a pick behind the goal and drove top side for his eighth goal of the year with just over a minute to play, but the Blue Jay defense held firm in the final 63 seconds to secure the win.
An extra-man goal by Tucker Shanley opened the scoring for the Tigers early in the first quarter, but Hopkins struck for three goals over the next eight minutes to take a 3-1 lead that they would never relinquish.
A cross-crease pass from Palmer found senior Mark Goodrich alone on the backdoor and he quick-sticked home his second goal of the year and Palmer got top side on his defender and rifled home a shot from six yards out that surprised Fiorito just over three minutes later. When sophomore Rob Guida spun inside his defender and whipped home his third goal of the season three minutes later the Blue Jays had the momentum and the two-goal lead.
Froccaro made it a one-goal game with his first strike of the match with 15 seconds remaining in the second quarter, but that would be the final goal – and shot – for the Tigers in the first half.
Hopkins maintained possession for virtually the entire second quarter and got goals in the final five minutes of the half from junior midfielders John Greeley and Ranagan to carry a 5-2 advantage into the half. The Blue Jays outshot the Tigers 9-0 in the quarter and 19-7 in the first half.
Neither team scored in the first seven minutes of the second half, but Goodrich staked the Blue Jays to a 6-2 advantage when he snapped home a laser to the top corner after a quick move to the inside from eight yards out.
Princeton drew within 6-4 at the end of the third on back-to-back goals by Sonnenfeldt and Mike MacDonald, but Kaestner’s goal early in the fourth quarter ignited the decisive run and the Blue Jays pulled out of Princeton with their first 4-0 start since 2005.
Goodrich and Kaestner led the Blue Jays with two goals each, while Palmer added the one goal and a game-high three assists. Bassett totaled nine saves in goal for the Blue Jays, who also won 11-of-21 faceoffs in the game.
Froccaro was the only multi-goal scorer for Princeton as his two tallies led the way. Schreiber and Grossman added one goal and two assists apiece and Fiorito matched Bassett with nine saves.
Johns Hopkins will return to action on Tuesday, March 6 when the Blue Jays host Manhattan at 3:30 pm.